DEDICATORY EPISTLE Addressed to ohann Karl von Gloiach, Flayder’s student, was from a noble family in Styria, southern Austria, near Graz.
omnes in unum collati The following list may be derived from a passage describing the various performers who appeared in the Roman theater (Bulenger, pp. 268f.). Bulenger describes most of these performers, citing ancient and more recent authors, but the specific meaning of many of these words is a matter of guesswork.
LECTOR BENEVOLE, teste Morosophiae authore Gaspar Ens [1570 - 16]. The following quote is adapted from Ens pp. 263-4. In each item the second is a misuse of the virtue. The true meaning of the eighth item “Lullist” is unclear to me. A Lullista is a follower of the Spanish/Majorcan religious thinker Raymond Llull [1232 - 1316], who developed a system which he expounded in Catalan, not in Latin. Alternatively Flayder may mean “Lollars,” referring to a sect of early Protestants who preached and translated in the vernacular (e.g. Wyclif). Linguax would have the same meaning in both cases: “talkative in Latin.
personis, etiam pessimis, pepercerimus I. e, real persons are not depicted. Compare the modern publisher’s boilerplate: The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
I.i Sources: 11 - 14, cf. Mor. En. 71:8-11; 29f. cf. Mor. En. 172:32- 3 31, cf. Pl. Bacch. 1087; 3f.-40, cf. Mor. En. 74:68-9; 40-f.1, cf. Pl. Aul. 195, Eras. Adagia 729, Flayder Lud. 1370; 43 - 50, cf. Mor. En. 76:95 - 8; 62 - 84, cf. Mor. En. 80:136 - 173; 85 - 98, cf. Mor. En. 82:186 - 214.
213 A legendary hero of ancient Rome. The story was told that in 362 BC a deep chasm opened in the Forum. The seers declared that the pit would never close until Rome’s most valuable possession was thrown into it. Claiming that nothing was more precious than a brave citizen, Curtius leaped, fully armed and on horseback, into the chasm, which immediately closed (Livy VII.6).
215 The philosopher Empedocles is supposed to have committed suicide by hurling himself into the crater of Mt. Etna. Pliny the Elder died while observing the eruption of Vesuvius which destroyed Pompei.
318 Argus was the many-eyed watchful guardian of Io, Tiresias was a blind seer. This proverbial expression has alternatives: foris Argi, domi talpas (“’mole”) and foris Argi, domi Lamiae (a demon who could remove her eyes).
413 The gold coins circulating in ancient Athens were called Philippics, after Philip of Macedon. The word occurs several times in Plautus (Trin. 152, Truc. 952, As. 153), but here is perhaps used for the guilder of Emperor Charles V.
423ff. Lines 422 - 35 are in elegiac verse. To reduce the number of footnotes, the sources of all the Philosophaster’s responses are listed in §13 of the Introduction. In my translation, Vergil is quoted in Dryden’s translation.
668 Lupus est in fabula is a proverbial exclamation one says when someone who has just been the subject of discussion suddenly appears on the scene (we would say “speak of the Devil!”) See Erasmus, Adagiorum Chiliades (1702 - 6 Amsterdam ed.) III.viii.5 6.
787 An odd use of a quote from Cicero’s Academica xxv.81 on the nature of vision: we see more clearly than do fish, since water, their “atmosphere,” is thicker (crassus) than our air; fish cannot see us at all. Cicero’s point is not that fish see clearer than we do, as Heraclitus implies.
940 The portmanteau word Schadvocati (schaden -“ hurt, harm”) is attested in 17th and 18th century German texts. One defines them as: ...lites saepe quaerunt ac fovent, solius lucri causa, ne fame ipsis sit pereundum, semina litium ubique spargunt, movent...etc, “They look for and encourage lawsuits only for their own profit, and so that they don’t die of hunger, they spread the seeds of lawsuits and foster them...” (Gastellius Christianus, Statu Publico Europae Novissimo Tractatus. Noribergae 1675 p. 1335, in a chapter De Doctoribus atque Licentiatis). The compound may also be colloquial; compare the shm- prefix in American English (from Yiddish, a German dialect) “Lawyer, Shmawyer, I want the judge on my side!” or the common “fancy-shmancy.”’
III.v Source: 1021, cf. Pl. Aul. 446.
III.vi Sources: 1097 - 9, Morosophia 125 - 7; 1103 - 8, cf. Corn. Agrippa quoted at Lehrich 237f., Morosophia 130; 1153ff, cf. Petrarch De Rem. 306; 1179, cg. Verg. Aen. III.57; 1186- 90, cf. Eras. Mor. En. 111.745 - 7; 1196, cpf. Pl. Aul. 152; 1200 - 12, Morosophia 143-f. 1225, cf. . Aul. 77.
1074 The spleen produced black bile (Gk. χολὴ μέλαινα), an excess of which produced melancholy, depression. The alchemist thinks Democritus is suffering from a deficiency of black bile leading to manic laughter.
1097 Azoth, a medication or solvent identified with the element mercury (Arabic al-zaybiq, “mercury”), was considered to be the main transformative agent in alchemy. For the portrait of Paracelsus with AZOTH on the pommel see the frontispiece of this edition. In his next speeches the alchemist lists the various stages in the transformative process; the names made it impossible for the uninitiated to know the actual steps in the process: Leaping Fool = the astrologer; Dragon which Eats its Tail (ouroboros) = the cyclical nature of matter; the Green Lion = ulphuric acid from green crystals of iron sulphate; the Fleeing Stag = = the soul mediating between body and spirit; the Flying Eagle = the distillation of mercury; the Crow’s Head = the initial blackening of the substance; Black Blacker than Black = a further stage of blackening. The Seal of Hermes was a way of making an air-tight glass tube; Lute (= clay) of Wisdom was clay used as a sealant. General description at Zambelli 122.
1121 This unusual Latin expression first occcurs in Tertullian, De Corona Militis iii: quamdiu per hanc lineam serram reciprocabimus,”How long will we harp on the same subject”; in the sense alios ad certamen lacessere (as here) it occurs in Leibnitz p. 298 and other scientific/philosophical writing.
1213ff. Other sources on the deceptions of alchemy say that one of the pieces making up the block is thin and the gold is secreted under that piece, as described Johannes Junker, Conspectus Chemiae Theoretico-practicae... (Halle 1730) 656, for which see here..
IV.i Sources: 1281, cf. Eras. Adagia 93; 1283, cf. Pl. Bacch. 241f.; 1303, cf. Pl. Trin. 768; 1317, cf. Ter. Heauton. 508; 1389, cf. Pl. Aul. 49; 1416, cf. Pl. Men. 102; 1418 - 23, cf. Pl. Mil. 1 - 26; 1424f., cf. Pl. Men. 179 - 81.
1281 “Octopus” refers to the proverb Polypus scopulo affixus – ’the octopus attached to a rock’, said proverbially of someone so fixed on a thing or subject that he cannot be distracted from it (Paulus Manutius, Adagia (Ursellae [=Irslingen?]: L. Zetzner 1603). The ram with the golden fleece carried Phrixus over the Hellespont to Colchis, where the ram was sacrificed . Jason recovered the golden fleece with the help of Medea (Ovid Met. VII passim). Barbara means that she will strip the lawyer of his gold
1296 The meaning of several of the words here is unclear to me. In ancient use, supparum meant a woman’s garment (or a small sail), and a few 17th cent. texts make it equivalent to surcotium (J. J. Hoffmann, Lex. Universale 1698 s. v. Vestis). Thorax may be chest armor or alternatively something like a bustier. The wrappings (cingulo) are padded hose, long lined stockings. Barbara’s intended appearance seems to be Franz Hals’ The Laughing Cavalier reimagined as a sexy-looking woman.
1308 Keeping the 1627 reading latrinam, which would be a pun on the Latin proverb laterem lavare, ’to wash a brick’, i.e. ’make a useless effort’ (cf. l. 983). Of course this may be a printing error.
1325 The following narrative recalls Boncompagnus’ life-story in Flayder’s Ludovicus Bigamus 1009 - 1183. In the narrative about his first master, the soldier displays a verbal tic, his continual repetition of quasi, “as if, as it were, almost.” The translation uses “almost,” 7despite occasional awkwardness. Conrad Dasypodius [1532 - 1600], professor of mathematics at Strasbourg, translated Euclid and was the author of numerous math textbooks. “Stag horns“ means he was cuckolded.
1454 “Your Lordship, I kiss your hands”; cf. Flayder’s Ludovicus Bigamus 1092. Mercenary soldiers often served in Italy, or wanted to give that impression.
1487 Medicinal use of animal dung was widespread in traditional medicine. It is also mentioned in Flayder’s Lud. Big. 999ff. Today a similar remedy is called “fecal microbial transplants,” a term which perhaps sounds more appetizing.
V.i Sources: 1634 - 41, cf Sen. Phaedra 39 - 54 (venatio); 1655, cf. Ter. And. 865; 1662 - 9, cf Morosophia 152. The dogs’ names are all from Ovid, Met. III 204ff. The translations are from Arthur Golding’s 1567 Ovid. With the huntsman’s speech and his threats against his underlings compare Pl. Pseudolus 143 - 156 and the cook’s speech in Flayder’s Imma 353ff. Note that these threats are not fanciful; poachers suffered dire punishments at the hands of nobility. The Archbishop of Salzburg had a poacher sewn into a deerskin and torn to pieces by his dogs (Stisser p. 488).
1642 Lat. subsessor, who supervised the net during the hunt (J. J. Hofmann, Lex. Universale, 1698, under Venatio). In the next line picta formidine refers to some images painted on a cloth or a net which would frighten the quarry.
1715ff. In Latin this Gilbert and Sullivan style song in trochaic dimeter is a tour de force of rhymes in first conj. infinitives -are. See Introduction §11.
V.iv Sources: 179 - 6 and 1806 - 8, cf. Bebel Fac. 4v-5r “De sacerdote vera historia”; 1798f., cf. Bebel Fac. 78v, “De Sacerdote”; 182 - 5, (Titus 3:10, Exod. 22:18), cf. Eras. Mor. En. 186:52 - 8; 1826 - 30, cf. Bebel Fac. 25r “Ridendum sacerdotis cuiusdam dictum”; 1831 - 5, cf. Bebel Fac. 104vv “De quodam concionatore”; 1865 - 8, cp. Bebel Fac. 87r “Quae nihili valeant.”
The Parson's sermon is an anthology of preacher jokes derived from four joke books: Johann Geiler von Kaysersberg, Navicula sive speculum fatuorum (Strasbourg 1511, cp. Brandt's Narrenschiff); Johann Adelphus Müling or Mulich, Margarita facetiarum (Strasbourg 1509); Heinrich Bebel (the most famous), Libri facetiarum iucundissimi (Strasbourg 1508–1512); Otto Melander, Jocorum atque seriorum …, Liber primus secundus tertius (Lich 1600–1604, 1610–1646). I have identified the jokes from Bebel (who is available in modern editions), but searching through the others, which are available only in difficult-to-read on-line editions, seemed not worth the effort.
1795f. A joke from Bebel 4v-5r. Johannes Gritsch, Sermones Quadrigesimales Fratris Johannis Gritsch... (Lyon 1506); Johannes de Verdena, Dormi Secure (Louvain 1483; just one example; dozens of sermon collections of different dates are extant under this title, attributed to various authors); Johannes Herolt, Sermones Discipuli de tempore et de sanctis... (Lyon 1488; many later edd.) The implied criticism here is that the Parson uses canned sermons rather than writing his own to address the current needs of his congregation.
1863ff. Most of these are conventional. Bohemian Bridge (Böhmischbruck) is a small settlement in Bavaria; the reason for its worthlessness escapes me. The Prussians (Prutheni) had been pagans until conquered by the Teutonic Knights in the 13th and 14th centuries.
1878ff. Theodoric of Verona/Dietrich of Bearn is the Germanic legendary version of the Ostrogoth emperor of Italy Theodoric. According to legend the Emperor Constantine was baptized by Pope Silvester and simultaneously cured of leprosy. The legend of Brandon from the Aurea Legenda, one of the early collections of saints’ lives (St. Brandon finds a paradise during a sea voyage). St. Patrick’s Purgatory was a cave on the island of Lough Derg in Donegal, Ireland, in which visitors could see purgatory. The island still the site of an annual pilgrimage. The legendary consultation between the Emperor Augustus and the Sibyl of Tibur was a motif for Christian artists. I have not identified Ubi angelorum; it may refer to a passage such as Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theol. I.52 on the nature of angels. The rest of this paragraph concerns topics in scholastic philosophy, also mocked in Eras. Mor. En. 144ff, in which passage Flayder found several of his phrases.
1907ff. See the note on line 1454.
1975 Jackdaws (which belong to the crow family) were considered foolish birds. In one of Aesop’s fables, the jackdaw dresses himself in borrowed peacock feathers. The symbols (insignia) of all the candidates refer to some traditional characteristic of each person’s position.
2004ff. Latin agent nouns in -or (like our English actor, director) have fem. forms in -ix (as in English aviatrix, dominatrix). This list comprises most such words. In order they mean: prostitute, spinner, washerwoman, nurse, cook, baker, midwife, warrior, handmaid, teacher, merchant, debtor, drinker, porter, clothing-mender, weaver, creditor, flatterer (not in L&S), hairdresser (not in L&S), danseuse, a loafer (someone who wanders about idly), doorkeeper, a go-between/matchmaker, a noisy speaker (not in L&S), masseuse. Compare Jonathan Swift’s contribution to The Tatler #35 (June 1709), a comic letter signed “Eliz. Potatrix,” which contains a similar (but not identical) list.